Not every Spider-Man stars Peter Parker these days, and this has been the case for the past several years. Marvel’s alternate-universe Ultimate line replaced its teenaged Peter Parker with an entirely new teenaged character, Miles Morales, who was met with acclaim by readers and critics alike.
I never got around to reading Miles’s series, primarily because I can’t read everything and Spider-Man is Peter Parker. (I didn’t read the stretch of issues where Doctor Octopus was pretending to be Spider-Man either.) I was glad to see people getting excited about a new Spider-Man, but it wasn’t my Spider-Man. I was around in the days when Superman got replaced by four imposters, Batman got replaced by a psycho, and Green Lantern went crazy and got replaced by an inexperienced younger guy. So I’m a bit biased against replacements who weren’t well-established proteges (like Wally West, Dick Grayson, or Sam Wilson becoming Flash, Batman, or Captain America). This may have been my mistake.
Due to events I’m unfamiliar with, Miles has somehow found his way to the Marvel Universe proper and coexists with the original Spidey. But I wasn’t the least bit lost when I decided to check in on the new Spider-Man #1 when it hit Marvel Unlimited.
The comic effectively introduces him to new readers and introduces his Marvel Universe status quo to preexisting fans, and it does so without any deluge of exposition. We see Miles in both his school and his superhero lives, and we meet his parents and best friend, getting a sufficient sense of who everyone is and what the dynamics between them are. Writer Brian Michael Bendis captures the spirit of Spider-Man in this (relatively) new character—Miles is a good kid who tries to do the right thing, even though doing the right thing often causes personal problems for him, whether it’s losing a date or letting his report card take a hit.
He may not be the Spider-Man of my youth, but so far Miles Morales looks like a worthy Spider-Man to me.
And the cliffhanger guarantees I’ll check out the second issue.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Sara Pichelli
Publisher: Marvel Comics
How to Read It: recent back issues; Marvel Unlimited; Comixology
Appropriate For: ages 10 and up